Minimise food waste, urges Chef Yugal Kishor

August 30, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Yugal Kishor, Head Chef, REFORM Social & Grill

Starting with a piece of stat. The Middle East discards around 250 kgs of food per capita annually.

Recognising the negative impact of food wastage, public and private sector entities across the Middle East are starting to evaluate the way they operate. In this context, Yugal Kishor, Head Chef at REFORM Social & Grill – a Gates Hospitality restaurant – emphasises the importance of minimising food waste, sourcing locally & seasonally and embracing energy-saving practices.

A zero-waste kitchen is probably something that every chef takes quite seriously. Every conscious chef ensures having a kitchen where food waste is minimal or zero.

In this context, Kishor said, “We carefully plan our menu to make the most of our ingredients. Any leftover food is creatively used in different ways, and any small pieces or scraps are turned into compost to support the growth of our garden at REFORM. Our dedication to sustainability motivates us to contribute positively to the environment.”

From use of ingredients to treatment of people in the kitchen here are some ground rules that he follows: using quality ingredients, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, practicing proper food handling and storage techniques, promoting teamwork and respect among kitchen staff and prioritising customer satisfaction.

Asked about the kind of sustainability-centric changes Kishor is noticing in the regional F&B landscape as well as roadblocks, he said, “On behalf of the local restaurant community, I can say that we’re seeing positive changes in the way businesses are approaching environmental, social and governance practices. Nowadays, customers are becoming more interested in sustainable options such as organic fruits, vegetables and responsibly sourced seafood. To meet this growing demand, at REFORM we’ve made efforts to use sustainably sourced ingredients. Additionally, we’re taking steps to reduce waste by repurposing vegetable peels and skins as compost for our garden. Overall, by implementing eco-friendly practices such as recycling and minimising plastic usage, we can reduce our impact on the environment.”

“However, businesses do face challenges including costs, logistics and employee training. That’s why it’s crucial for the food and beverage industry to stay informed and seek innovative solutions to overcome these challenges,” he added.

Three tips by Chef Yugal Kishor to run a restaurant kitchen sustainably:

  • Minimise food waste: Implement efficient inventory management systems, use ingredients creatively to utilise all parts of the produce and properly store and label food to prevent spoilage.
  • Source locally and seasonally: Support local farmers and suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation. Use ingredients that are in season to ensure freshness and reduce the environmental impact of importing out-of-season produce.
  • Embrace energy-saving practices: Opt for energy-efficient equipment, such as LED lighting and low-flow faucets. Encourage staff to turn off appliances when not in use and establish a recycling and composting system to minimise waste.

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